On the 28th January we drove down to Sydney to embark on the Explorer of the seas,/we booked this 15 day cruise last year whilst on our Europe trip,we had been in NZ two years ago on a motor home trip around the South Island & were keen to go back & see this diverse country from a different leisurely perspective. We parked Rita’s Honda in the old car park in Balmain next to where we had our little apartment a number of years ago,hoping it would be safe for two weeks. We then walked down Darling St. the few hundred metres to Balmain ferry wharf & caught the ferry over to Circular Quay, motoring on the way past the ship we were about to board.
Once through the usual boarding process we met up with a few people we met on the Rhapsody last year on our way to Istanbul. They were Anne & Kerrie from Nelson Bay, Mary from Sydney & also Julia as well from Sydney, it was good to have a drink & catch up again.
The following days, Friday & Saturday we spent leisurely on board whilst making our way to the Sounds region of the South Island. Early Sunday morning we entered Milford Sound, the as the day progressed going into both Dusky & Doubtful Sounds, it was a magnificent day in a amazingly beautiful region of N.Z. & the world.
The following day was just overnight up to Dunedin, a city we had visited before & found interesting. We hooked up with our Aussie friends minus Mary & caught the shuttle into the city. First stop was the Cadbury chocolate factory, very informative small tour followed by chocolate eating of course. We then walked down to the historic railway station which we were told is the most photographed building in N.Z. It was very interesting, we had a morning coffee in the cafe there. We then walked a couple of klms to the Dunedin Regional Museum, we were there 2 years ago & it has some great displays as well as ever changing special events / features. We spent a good couple of hours in here before walking back into the city proper, having a look around on the way before getting the bus back to the ship, all in all a great day in Dunedin.
After leaving Dunedin it was a quick trip through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. We arrived as usual early morning so after breakfast we caught the shuttle into town, a quick 10 minute ride, it was fantastic weather for wandering around the markets that were set up, mainly for cruise ships & stroll around the town, plenty to see and do in Picton, we enjoyed the day.